This is one of the last bastions of Napa Chardonnay that retains the ethos of winemaking from the 1970s and '80s. A blend of mainly Rutherford and Oak Knoll fruit, it undergoes no malolactic fermentation and is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. Aromas of lemon meringue, key limes and orchard fruit blossoms lead to an angular, focused and pure palate. An authentic example of a past time.
90pts Wilfred Wong
Whenever I am ready to taste a new vintage of Heitz Cellar Chardonnay, my memories return to my longtime friend and outstanding writer, Bob Thompson, a big fan of the winery's early Chardonnays. I also recalled my visit with my then assistant, Debbie Zachareas, at Ashbury Market. We visited Joe Heitz at the winery and spent over five hours tasting wines from the library, including very old Chardonnays. The 2017 vintage provides an excellent marker of this wine's legacy and where it is going. This wine is savory (as expected) and full of delicious core fruit aromas and flavors. Its underlying oak gives the wine an excellent foundation to be paired with roast chicken or turkey. (Tasted: April 3, 2020, San Francisco, CA)
The nose of the 2017 Chardonnay begins with hints of Meyer lemon, pineapple, and freshly baked sweet apple tarts. The fresh fruit aroma is complemented by subtle notes of toasted hazelnut, honeysuckle, and white floral characteristics. Its fresh, bright acidity pleases the palate while balanced by a smooth richness that is obtained through sur lie aging. The new French oak gives the wine vanilla and baking spice flavor without overpowering the varietal flavor.